As seen in Retail Jeweller April 2022 edition.
The needs of today’s workforce continue to change and workplace technologies are rapidly evolving. In a post- Covid world, many people are looking for hybrid working practices, mixing up working from home with the office.
Technology is key in making this work. Businesses are constantly challenged by the task of managing the demands of their growth while coping with this technology evolution. Take a moment to think about what you need now and in the future to support growth. As an independent retailer, IT should be a high priority and this should be considered across all channels of the business from bricks and mortar to online:
Long gone are the days of scraps of paper, invoice pads and inputting data into Excel. It is simpler than ever to introduce cost-effective technology to automate many processes from invoices, expenses to stock control.
Cyber security is a vital and often overlooked area for a retailer. Businesses have a legal requirement to protect the processing, storing and management of customer information whether online or in-store. In addition, a cyber attack could have a devastating impact on the business. This is an area where businesses must take advice to assess the threats, mitigate the risks, and protect their business and their customers.
Where IT is concerned, it is always worth using an expert. Technology changes rapidly and it is difficult to keep up with the pace of change. Outsourcing to a professional will allow you to focus on selling jewellery rather than trying to learn as you go along. Getting it wrong could cost a lot more in the long run. System downtime, viruses, backup failures and loss of productivity can all be time-consuming and a distraction. By working with an IT professional, you will have peace of mind knowing your computer network is being monitored 24/7 by a specialised IT team.
Successful organisations continually improve their customer experience to build better customer relationships. An essential tool in achieving this is CRM (customer relationship management) software to track and analyse all customer interactions for complete visibility. Find the right software that works for your business and review it often to ensure happy and returning customers.
Manage stock by using cloud-based software. It is vital that multichannel businesses have an integrated inventory system. A good system designed for retailers will let you make stock transfers, carry out stock takes and process stock adjustments along with running simple audits. This will eliminate selling items that are out of stock and ultimately having to deal with frustrated or unhappy customers.
Technology should be accessible. Remote working is here to stay, so give your business the right platforms that can be accessed from home or the office. Business continuity planning should now be at the front of mind given recent experiences and ensuring you are future-proof will reduce business disruption in the event of another crisis further down the road.